A few weeks ago, in an award-winning display of school year preparedness, I bought new backpacks for the boys.

Tucker chose Captain America. Tyler chose Batman. The Dark Knight.

I said to him this week, “Hey, buddy, I’m sorry to tell you this, but we need to choose a different backpack for you.”

“No, thank you. I like the one I chose.”

“I can’t let you keep that one, sugar. We have to choose something different.”

“Why?”

(I am down playing his resistance. It was mighty.)

I really didn’t want to answer his question. I really didn’t want to tell my son about this shade of evil.

“Well, Tyler, there is a man in our city who loves Batman so much that he went crazy. He hurt a lot of people.”

“Does he go to my school?”

“No.”

“Does he carry a Batman backpack?”

“No, I don’t think so.”

“Then why can’t I keep it?”

“Because many people died because he was so crazy. And even more people are hurting. So, we need to be sensitive to that. If you wear this backpack, it will seem like we don’t care that this happened. We need to choose a new backpack, lovey. I’m sorry.”

And so my son will wear his second choice: Super Mario.

Well done, Tyler. I’m sorry you had to choose.

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